A Spirituality of Pleasure: Deciphering Vijñānabhairava Verse 68
- 1. Introduction
- 2. The Text
- 3. The General Meaning of Verse 68 in the PratyabhijñāHṛDayam
- 4. General Meaning of Verse 68 in the Vijñānabhairava
- 5. Particular Interpretations of Verse 68
- 6. Conclusion
This heavily coded śloka from the tantric literature of Kashmir Shaivism has been misinterpreted and misused, to the detriment of the reputation of tantra in the West.
This paper studies the original text and ancient commentaries, and elucidates the several levels of meaning of this arcane verse. It also looks at the various translations and commentaries in English, French, German, which do not bring out the full meaning of the text or contradict each other or gloss over problems or bend the verse to suit their agendas.
As a result, this paper concludes that, far from being disreputable or trivial, the sloka describes a spirituality of pleasure in every-day life which is profound and important for our age.
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